J was happy yesterday. We didn’t have any trouble during the day; we did our chores, went for walks, put together another craft project. In the evening he went to the gym with TGG, and then we got pizza for dinner.
At nine o’clock he came up from the TV room asking for bandaids. It was not yet bath-time so I asked him to wait. And then the tantrum started… Even though I was just headed for the bathroom to pee, I stopped in my tracks and reminded him that he has to ask for help. I might as well have asked him to recite Ozymandias. He would not budge.
Of course, we were deflated, and had to herd him up the stairs to his room so we could address the tantrum and the bandaids. No sooner did I ask him to take off his wrist sleeve (which we all know is just a piece of a pair of tights) that he started to hit his head. We immediately pointed to the DON’T HIT sign, but this did little to calm J down. His reaction was so strong and decisive that I sat next to him and held his hand. I slowly removed the old bandaids, and up the hand went…bam bam bam against his forehead.
By this time I really had to pee. I took J’s arm and told him to follow me. I am not proud to admit that I used the toilet while J stood there, looking away from his poor, weak-bladdered mother. As long as I hold his hand, he won’t hit…desperate times call for desperate measures, and with his hand tucked between my ribs and my elbow I washed my hands and herded him back to his bedroom.
His hand was swollen. Not his WHOLE hand, but rather the pad of flesh that sits between the base of the thumb and the wrist. Swollen. Like A LOT swollen. J has big hands, and we’re used to seeing some swelling when he’s been indulging in SIB, but this was way out of the ordinary amount of swelling we have come to accept as “oh, it happens.”
Dash away, dash away, dash away all…”TGG, wrist brace! Dada, ice pack! STAT!!!! Someone bring the iPad from the basement!!!!” My minions dispersed. When they arrived back in J’s room I was putting bandaids on, and TGG was giving the swelling a quick look. “I think it’s either a sprain or dislocation…” He asked J to make a fist, wiggle his fingers… With the iPad he told us it hurt, but the pain was tolerable. Once we had bandaged him up as best we could with what we had, J said HAPPY. I explained to him that we would go to the Urgent Care this morning. He tried to hem and haw, and I had to clarify that the pain cannot be addressed with just bandaids.
This morning, after a quick shower, and some complaining, we arrived at the Urgent Care as soon as it opened. This kid should have Frequent Flyer miles there. They know him, and -thankfully- they know how to deal with his hesitation. When the doctor came in and asked to see his hand, J parted with the bandages he was wearing, and allowed him to poke and prod. After an X-ray, they let me put the bandaids, wrist sleeve, and wrist brace back on…
It’s a sprain. A bad one. The doctor says he must’ve jammed his thumb on something. We told him it was probably his forehead he jammed it on. “That would do it if he hits at an angle that the thumb is not ready to support.” The solution? A thumb splint that immobilizes that thumb and braces his wrist. “Will he wear it? It’s bulky!” I explained that bulk is no issue; after making a habit of carrying four boxing gloves around for a couple of years, bulky is not a problem…it’s a fashion statement.
When the nurse came in with the brace, J smiled as if he’d just been given a beautiful present. He extended his arm and thumb with enthusiasm bordering on the absurd. The only thing missing was his saying “for me?????? Oh, you shouldn’t have!!!!!” The nurse explained that it’s removable, and he’ll have to wear it for three weeks. Ice will help with the swelling. Acetaminophen will work for the pain if he has any. I told the nurse if he enjoys wearing this thing, he will probably make it a part of his daily wardrobe.
I have never seen anyone look so happy about having a body part immobilized. When we got home, everyone at the property management office and in the maintenance crew asked J what had happened. He displayed that brace like Michael Phelps displays his Olympic medals on a box of Wheaties. You’d think he had Iron Man’s arm installed…
Does he fuss over it? Yes, of course. There are Velcro straps, and J loves readjusting Velcro straps. It’s almost like he got his very own, personal, exclusive amusement park ride. He walks around smiling, his arm extended in front of him…sort of like a modern day, less gloomy The Mummy.
I will take the fussing over Velcro over the hitting himself because he’s hurting and he doesn’t know what to do. I know that J didn’t just hurt himself. Of all the things I know J is capable of, intentionally hurting himself to get attention isn’t one of them. If J is going to hit himself, he wants an audience. He wants a reaction. He’s a performer. My guess is he grabbed something and, because he was already somewhat hurt, he didn’t calculate weight, size and grip correctly and it just got him the wrong way. I’ve done that before, and it has resulted in needing ice, etc.
Am I worried? Yes, of course. We got an e-mail from the psych that I’m still chewing on, but not because it’s a bad, uh-oh, this isn’t good e-mail, but rather because it’s a “think carefully about how you want to do this” e-mail. So I’ll chew on that, and then I’ll tell you all about it.
That’s it for now. I’m taking partial-Iron Man to the pool because the weather is fine.